LENA Start children’s literacy workshops to start in March

February is for lovers, especially book lovers. “And you’re never too young to fall in love,” said Stacy Penaranda, Sussex County Executive of Read Aloud Delaware, who kicked off I Love To Read month with a visit to the Selbyville Public Library on February 2. .

As mothers and their preschoolers arrived for library story time, Penaranda was there to provide information about Read Aloud Delaware, a statewide children’s literacy program, and to provide kids with treat bags featuring two popular children’s books.

Read Aloud Delaware’s LENA Start program was of particular interest to parents. The two organizations began a partnership in September 2020 to help parents and caregivers measure, improve and get the most out of their verbal relationships with young children up to 3 years old.

LENA Start uses current technology to count adult words, conversation turns, and ambient noise, such as televisions and other electronics, that a child hears in a day. The technology, dubbed “voice pedometer” and worn by the child, provides vital information to parents and professionals to help close gaps in language, learning and opportunities for children.

The LENA Start program offers parents a series of free 10-week workshops in English and Spanish. The workshops help parents and caregivers learn to connect, talk more, and take turns talking. These practices increase the amount of interactive conversation children experience, promoting healthy brain development during the critical early years.

The next LENA Start session will begin mid-March. More information about the program can be found at readalouddelaware.org/lenastart or by contacting Penaranda at 302-856-2527 or [email protected]

The Sussex County Read Aloud Delaware volunteer reading program has also resumed at 17 daycares and preschools with 116 volunteers reading individually to preschoolers.

Founded in 1983, Read Aloud Delaware seeks to ensure that every preschooler in the state is regularly read one-on-one.

About Shirley L. Kreger

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